Faster switching for sections on screen? //Newbie impressions

Hej Electra community,
I just got my device this week and really like all sides of this project. Great work electra guys and community! :clap:t2:

I can finally concentrate more on my ears when programming the Ambika / Shruthi /… and the Channel Controls in Ableton with this controller.

The most used task for me at the moment is to switch between the three areas/sections on the touch screen to reach other controls and I was a little irritated, how it works…

So here is my first feature request/idea:

1. Can the touch areas – that activate a section – trigger everywhere?
At the moment I have to touch a control element in a section directly which I often miss on first try. To be able to touch everywhere in a section would be much easier/faster.

2. Can we set the three section buttons to activate on downpress?
At the moment they are a little bit slow, because they react on releasing the button. It’s a detail, but they are used so often…

3. Can we select the sections via midi ctrl?
I use an external controller (Faderfox LX1) to switch pages and presets fast with one button press. It would be great to also select/preselect sections via midi. I read that it should be possible with firmware 1.4 but did not find a documentation on this.

4. Bonus: Option to flip side buttons for selections left/right?
When I use the electra next to other controllers, it would be a nice option to switch the function buttons left/right, so that I can control easy with both hands on switches for the selections and pots, when one side is to tight. This could be also benificial for lefties.

Thank you for reading my thoughts and happy controlling :control_knobs:
Björn

(edited for better description)

for (1), can’t you make the control bigger, span more elements.
(I thought I was doing this when sending presets … though it may be this is not exposed in the editor?)

for (2), I actually asked for the opposite a while back :wink:
the reason is having the action carried out, allows for ‘combination’ actions.
so for example the E1 could allow for long press vs short press to carry out different actions.
this is impossible if you carry out actions on button down.

I do know what you mean though, but I personally found its just habit… you just need to remember to do a quick tap (and ‘trust’ it will register, which I think is why we tend to hold buttons down)

Hi @thetechnobear,
thank you for answering!

To clarify (1)… I talk about switching between the three sections that define which controls are active for the 12 Electra knobs…

If I touch the black areas of one section, nothing happens… Only if I hit a control precisely, the sections switches. But I just want to switch the whole area fast… so it would be nice, if I cannot miss with a touch…

(2) Ha, thats also a use case and I get it now - I wondered why the buttons should behave this way. For fast switching I would prefer the touch screen anyway :slight_smile:

Hope this clarifies.

The issue (of not being able to switch section when hitting the black area) is especially nagging when the screen is full of pads, that will take the finger press also as a toggle-this-control command.

I think there can be multiple solutions to this with different pros/cons :

  • first tap into an inactive section always activates section not the controls
  • tap on background selects section - controls can still be hit directly in inactive sections
  • defining a special area on the edge for switching
  • use the section buttons (on downpress - other buttons can still react on release to have long press functionality)
  • external midi control for faster switching / preselection

Maybe there will be a solution for everyone with the user interface customization mentioned the development plan :slight_smile:

not sure I see the problem…

once you know you need to do a quick tap of S1-S3 to switch sections, I think its very quick.
similarly if you tap any control in an inactive section, it’ll make the section active.

btw: not sure if you are using the test version (1.5.5?), if so then Ive reported a ‘bug’, which can make things feel a bit imprecise - currently in the test version, if you are touching an encoder (even lightly) then it will not switch sections. I believe to due a new feature that allows full screen bar to be brought up … but I believe thats only the test version.

Hej technobear, I’m using test version 1.5.7… Downgrade to 1.5 behaves the same.

And yes, maybe I’m ocd’ing on this. On the other hand I like to switch to the knobs of my synths as fast as possible :wink:

I recognized it first when I used my external midi knobs to switch pages (even small presets) that it this a lot snappier than switching the sections with the electra buttons…

then I think thats the core of the issue… (and perhaps related to bug I mentioned?!)

I’ve also noticed that a quick tap on the S1-S3 is occasionally not registering,
again that feels more like a bug, that how its supposed to be.

(but hey, thats the point of test versions … so we can report issues :wink: )

one thing, ive just also noticed with the touch, is it appears only the fader bar is considered part of the ‘touch zone’, it does not appear to include the label. I’d think it could include the label too, to give a larger touch target.

anyway, I think this is an area @martin has been working in, so perhaps some of this is work in progress (in the test version)

programming and passively following the threads… :slight_smile:

Just a quick one on this. I will increase the reading rate of the buttons. I will post new beta in an hour. The rate will be increased.

I kind of agree that swicthing of the sections should work outside the controls too. ie. when tapping anywhere in the section area. Currently, the touch event is bound to the controls,. Need to think about it.

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Hej technobear, I just tried the downgrade. It has the same little lag on the selection knobs.

And you are right: the label is not recognized via touch (firmware 1.5).

I also found another problem: I cannot let the hands on the knob while switching via the buttons. So if I want to use the same knob on a different section, that is a little bit awkward. But I can let the hand on the knob when switching selections via the touch screen.

But I think I made my point here… Electra is great! Only minor issues while falling in love with it :smiley:

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Thanks @martin - hope you still had a weekend!

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It is actually a feature - as @thetechnobear says - when there is an active touch on control the three left buttons change their function:

  1. [SECTION 1] displays a detail
  2. [SECTION 2] switch to the previous value (eg. for the envelopes)
  3. [SECTION 3] switch to the next value

As almost everybody has different needs in this area the only definitive answer is make it possible to configure buttons and touch events. I talked about it with a few users. The idea is that only the [MENU] button would be fixed. An option to switch left / right side makes sense too. I think you - @studiobischof - mentioned that elsewhere. In the development list this is part of the “Customize User Interface”.

Ah, combos again :slight_smile: Yes, I didn’t read about this till now.
Thanks for clarifying.

I also think customizing will be a great option later and electra has already more than one way to control via touch screen, buttons and menus and also midi.

I feel that in general this kind of relates to whether Electra is used for performing or programming. Some ideas go against each other…

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yeah, I think have to be careful with overloading these section buttons,
I view these section buttons as the primary interface along with the encoders.
… we are pressing them all the time, so like encoders need priority.

as I mention before, and as @studiobischof has said, the encoders are really sensitive to touch, so its really easy to leave your fingers on them (or brush them) as you want to switch sections.

that said, I do like the ‘bring up details shortcut’
my temptation would be to move this to happening when you press the ‘current’ section button.
that way it will not interfere with switching sections.

I think you could overload a long press on buttons S1-S3 (2 seconds?) , but not sure what that would be useful for (perhaps pages, presets, snaps dialogs… given this maps onto the menu page?)

personally, id be careful with too much ‘user customisation’, that can become a bit of a rats nest of code , as the software develops :wink:

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Yes, good point about the simplicity of primary controls.

I always think about street fighter game combos - if you are trained enough, you realize more complex controls. As a newbie you will not see them.